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‘It’s an addiction’: NBA’s ties to gambling trouble players past and present

The league has forged close links to betting. But many worry about how such relationships will affect athletes and fans In life, there is one constant – change. For professional sports, the biggest change of late has to do with gambling. Most US states now offer fans the chance to bet on games and player props legally. And big professional sports leagues like the NBA have embraced that recent change in legislation, too. What was once a third-rail topic is now a major source of income, with ESPN’s financial guru Bobby Marks saying this year the NBA is “projected to receive $167m in revenue from casinos and betting, an 11% increase from last season.” One need look no further than ESPN to see how integrated sports betting is with major leagues and the media outlets that cover them. Right at the top of the company’s website is a new tab, ESPNBET, the broadcaster’s very own sportsbook, which launched in November of 2023. Is this a conflict of interest? Maybe, maybe not. But gambling seems to drive a great deal of new business in sports. For NBA fans frustrated by the in-game reviews, the challenges and lengthy replays, they have gambling largely to blame, especially in the wake of the league’s referee scandal earlier this century . For a business that lost a great deal of money during the pandemic and one that is trying to grow globally , gambling promises an influx of cash, and the NBA has two official betting partners . The league says it promotes responsible gambling , but there are thought to be around three million problem gamblers in the US, and the National Council on Problem Gambling says the risk of gambling addiction in the general population increased by 30% between 2018 and 2021 . Betting ads appearing everywhere on NBA broadcasts almost certainly won’t help those numbers. Continue reading... always shares this Contents with License.

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